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FDA Gives Pet Food Companies a Loophole to By-Pass Law

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 by: Susan Thixton
Tags: pet food, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) is a set of laws passed by Congress in 1938 giving authority to the FDA to oversee and take legal action to protect the safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics –- there have been many revisions over the years. According to FFDCA the definition of 'food' is: "Food" means articles used for food or drink for man or other animals and components of such articles (section 201 (f)). That definition is very clear -- FFDCA covers food for humans and animals; our pets would be considered 'animals' under the law.

Section 402 of FFDCA provides the definition of what would make a food adulterated and thus becoming a prohibited act subject to penalty. The simple definition states "a food shall be deemed to be adulterated if it contains "poisonous, insanitary, or deleterious ingredients" (402 a). Not wanting to leave any grey area to your understanding of this -- specifically 402 (a) (5) states "if it is, in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter" -- the food would be considered adulterated and is prohibited. Now, here is where it gets interesting.

Just to remind you the FFDCA definition of food covers both human and animal (pet) foods. The law specifically states no diseased animal or an animal which has died other than by slaughter is allowed for use in food. Yet pet food companies are provided special permission to by-pass the law. Millions of U.S. pets every single day are eating a pet food that contains diseased euthanized animals. According to FFDCA section 402, pet food companies that sell dog foods, cat foods, and treats using diseased animals or animals that have been euthanized are breaking the law. It doesn't take a Philadelphia lawyer to figure this out. Or does it...

Enter the FDA looking out for the interest of some pet food manufacturers. Our FDA friends have provided an official loophole to allow pet food to by-pass the law. Section 690.300 of the compliance manual states: "Pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402 (a) (5) will not ordinarily be actionable, if it is not otherwise in violation of the law. It will be considered fit for animal consumption." The law clearly states 'food' means human and animal food, the law clearly prohibits use of diseased animals in food or animals which have died other than by slaughter in food; yet the FDA allows pet food manufacturers the privilege of by-passing the law. Thanks a lot for that, FDA.

Citing the 'prohibited acts' and 'penalty' section of FFDCA (section 331): "(a) The introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded." And "(c) The receipt in interstate commerce of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded, and the delivery or proffered delivery thereof for pay or otherwise." So, according to the law, anyone that delivers or receives adulterated food is subject to penalty. Section 333 covers 'penalties'..."(1) Any person who violates a provision of section 331 of this title shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000 or both." It seems pretty cut and dry to me; why aren't those guilty pet food manufacturers and pet food retailers fined for every bag or can of dog food and cat food that contains an adulterated ingredient? This could take care of the FDA complaints regarding lack of funding.

To top this mess off, the FDA itself has proof that many pet foods contain euthanized animals. Back in 2000 and 2002 the FDA tested dog foods (cat foods were not tested) purchased from grocery stores and pet shops for pentobarbital –- the drug used to euthanize animals. A search on the FDA website for 'pentobarbital' will provide you the document "Report on the risk from pentobarbital in dog food". If you scroll to the bottom of the page you'll find an Appendix link listing all the dog foods tested and which ones showed positive results containing pentobarbital –- which means they contain some type of euthanized animal. Once you recover from that shock, next realize that the FDA also determined from an eight week test that our pets consuming pentobarbital in dog food (effects of pentobarbital on cats was not tested) is ok with them. Eight weeks of FDA study determined it is safe for our pets to consume pentobarbital over a lifetime. And no study or risk analysis was ever done to consider the risk of consuming meat or meat by-products from a sick animal.

It seems everywhere you turn, the FDA provides loopholes and special provisions to protect business –- not the consumer. This is one of many loopholes provided to pet food manufacturers. Despite the special treatment, many pet food producers choose to use human grade/quality meat instead of the diseased, euthanized options. Learn who those companies are and please feed your pet those foods. It isn't rocket science to realize the health benefits your pet will be provided by those choices. The high quality, human grade/quality ingredient pet foods don't break the bank either; in most cases they cost less than the diseased, euthanized meat options. Learn what your pet is eating.

And should you feel 'madder than a wet hen' regarding the FDA's kindness to some pet food manufacturers, I encourage you contact your State Representative in Washington and your State Agriculture Representative. The law is the law –- if you and I have to follow it, then it is only fair that pet food companies have to follow it. Let's get rid of the loopholes in regards to pet food.

About the author

Susan Thixton has an international pet people following providing dog and cat lovers a trusted source for pet food and pet food ingredient information. She's been called courageous, perseverant, even "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food. Susan Thixton is the author of hundreds of pet industry articles and the 2006 released book Truth About Pet Food (currently being updated for a second edition). She developed and publishes the pet product consumer magazine Petsumer Report and is a frequent speaker and radio guest all over the U.S. and Canada with more than 70 appearances in the last 2 years.
If you are looking for straight forward pet food information that can have an almost immediate impact on your pet's health - subscribe to the free newsletter, and subscribe to Petsumer Report to see reviews of close to 700 dog and cat foods and treats (adding 40+ each month). Susan Thixton's 'truth' will help you find a safer, healthier dog or cat food that could add years to your pet's life. http://www.TruthAboutPetFood.com

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